Name of tugboat captain released

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NATCHEZ — The Wilkinson County Coroner Tuesday released the name of towboat captain who was found dead by his crew Sunday as the boat traveled on the Mississippi River.

Mark Garrick, 51, was found dead in his living quarters as the boat traveled the river, coroner Nolan Thompson said.

While the matter remains under investigation, Thompson said his preliminary findings of a naturally caused death agree with those of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the lead investigative agency on the case.

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“It seems like natural causes,” Thompson said. “I don’t see (any) incidence of foul play.”

Thompson said Garrick lived in Arkansas and the family was notified soon after the incident.

The exact cause of death remains undetermined.

“We’re still investigating. I haven’t come up with that yet,” Thompson said.

Garrick had reportedly told some other crewmembers he planned to retire to his bedroom for a while, but after an extended period of time, Garrick’s crewmates felt compelled to check on him.

After discovering Garrick had passed, the crew docked their boat just within the Mississippi state line, a few miles north of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

MDWFP officers and other officials eventually reached the vessel, working the scene until well past 2 a.m. Monday morning.

On Monday, MDWFP Major Lane Ball also said no signs of foul play have appeared thus far.